It is a scandal that Germany has not ratified the UNCAC and the government
must propose its own proposal and not longer wait for other proposals.
Access to information is a human right according to Art.
19 ICCPR Germany has reservations
Does the German delegation recognize, that Germany can not continue to
violate the human right of access to information in 5 federal states with
half of the population? (see 124.28 og 124.42)
123.22: Ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC);
123.28: Withdraw all reservations to human rights instruments to which
Germany is a party, first of all, to the International Covenant on Civil and
123.42: Align its national legislation with international human rights
Response to recommendations:
124.22: "Accepted. Before ratifying the United Nations Convention against
Corruption, an adaptation of the legislation regarding the criminal offence
of bribery of members of parliament is needed. A corresponding draft
legislative bill should be submitted by members of the German Bundestag."
124.28: (Withdraw all reservations e. g. ICCPR") "Accepted. Legal
regulations and their implementation already comply with international
standards and norms."
Walter Keim, 19. September 2013
Knowledge will forever govern
ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors,
must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular
government without popular
information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce
or a tragedy or perhaps both.
Permanent Mission of the United States of America to the United Nations
Office and other international organizations in Geneva
Route de Pregny 11
Tel: +41 22 749 41 11
Subject: UPR meeting 25 April 2013
The US Freedom of Information (FOI) Law 1966 was the second law of this kind
in the world. President Barack Obama signed on his first day in office an Initiative
on Transparency, signalling the fundamental importance of open
government in a democracy. President Obama also initiated the international
Open Government Partnership,
followed by 60 states.
Now 120 states with 5.9 billion
inhabitants i.e. 84 % of the worlds population adopted FOI laws or
constitutional provisions. However the Baltic Sea NGO Forum found that 5
federal states (half of the population) lack Freedom of Information laws.
Unfortunately the federal FOI law in Germany does not follow international
standards of openness, reasonable costs and fast response i. e. 89
states with 5.5 billion have FOI laws more citizen friendly.
However both national
authorities and NGOs,
regional ( EU,
CoE, OSCE )
and global mechanisms (CCPR,
did not support access to information and anticorruption in Germany.
Could the US Mission follow up President Obamas commitment in the UPR
meeting 25 April 2013 and propose that German federal states adopt Freedom
of Information laws? Unfortunately OHCHR did nor publish the Baltic Sea NGO
Forum submission: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/foi-ohchr.html
Access to documents of public administration is a human right according to
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) [1, 4,
5] and jurisdiction
of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) 
on the basis of the European Convention for Human Rights (ECHR) 
and is seen as a precondition for democracy and important in the fight of
corruption. OSCE supports access to information .
There are 269
hits (Accessed January 2013) on "Access to Information" in the UPR-Info.org
database e. g. freedom
of information laws are mentioned for Azerbaijan,
and the REPUBLIC
OF DJIBOUTI (submitted by ARTICLE 19). UNESCO
has recommended Freedom of Information laws to all states reviewed during
the 16. UPR session. Austria recommended to Bahrain (A/HRC/WG.6/13/L.4):
"Enact a progressive, substantive Freedom of Information law". Djibouti
got same suggestion.
Germany invited civil society to discuss the report. Since I am in
Norway, I applied for access of the draft
report, which was discussed. However after waiting 3 month I did not yet
get the report. I see that the contribution of the Baltic Sea NGO Forum
has been ignored, but due to the 3 month time to decide on the application
I can not see the influence of other civil society contributions.
The USA is one of the troika states of this UPR
review of Germany .
Sincerely for Baltic Sea NGO Forum
Access to Information Baltic Sea NGO Forum: http://BSNF-ATI.tk/
UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR):
Will CoE Support the Human Right of Access to Information
in Germany? http://t.co/AavLgnOnz2
Is it possible to enforce access to information in Bavaria?
PS: 29.April 2013: Many delegations
complaint about the Youth Office (Jugendamt)
- Access to information is a human right according to UN: http://right2info.org/international-and-regional-law-standards#section-0
- Access to information in ECHR: http://right2info.org/international-and-regional-law-standards#section-4
- 2004 Joint Declaration by the Three Special Mandates for Protecting
Freedom of Expression: http://merlin.obs.coe.int/iris/2005/2/article1
- "General Comment No. 34 on Article 19 of the ICCPR": http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/comments.htm
- Complains to UN Human Rights Committee: http://right2info.org/cases#section-6
- Jurisdiction European
Court of Human Rights (ECtHR): http://right2info.org/cases#section-2
- OSCE, April 2012: COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT LAW ON TRANSPARENCY, ACCESS TO
INFORMATION AND GOOD GOVERNANCE OF SPAIN: http://www.osce.org/fom/89577:
"International documents (...) state that access to information is a
fundamental human right and an essential condition for all democratic
- Universal Periodic Review (UPR):
Report of the Working Group on the UPR: A/HRC/WG.6/16/L.7 [relation to
Baltic Sea NGO Forum suggestion No. in
II. Conclusions and/or recommendations
123. Responses to the following recommendations will be provided by Germany
in due time, but no later than the 24th session of the Human Rights Council
in September 2013:
of the German Government 11. September 2013: Germany is accepting:
but what will be done?
- "123.22: Ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption
(Austria);(Article 5, 7, 10, 12 and 13 are about ATI in various fields.)
[UNCAC mentioned in Baltic Sea NGO Forum Submission]
- 123.28: Withdraw all reservations to human rights instruments to which
Germany is a party, first of all, to the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights (Russian Federation); 
- 123.42: Align its national legislation with international human rights
standards (Iraq); [indirect 1, 3, approx. 5]
- 123.46: Expand the mandate of the German Institute for Human Rights to
receiving complaints of human rights violations (India); 
- 123.49: Secure proper follow-up to the accepted recommendation from
the first UPR cycle and introduce tools that will improve the effective
judicial control over the administrative decisions of the Office of
Youth called Jugendamt (Poland); [approx. 5]
- 123.145. Introduce independent and effective legal and professional
supervision of the Youth Office (Jugendamt) and ensure that the
Jugendamt decisions be in conformity with binding international norms,
including the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (Turkey);
[approx. 3, approx. 4]
- 123.169. Federal and State Governments, in consultation with civil
society, broaden and intensify existing human rights training in schools
as well as the routine training of police, security, prison and health
personnel, and set up a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to assess
progress (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland);" 
Conclusion: Germany accepts, but will do nothing, basically because of
the pretension that "standards are high enough".
- 124.22: "Accepted. Before ratifying the United Nations Convention
against Corruption, an adaptation of the legislation regarding the
criminal offence of bribery of members of parliament is needed. A
corresponding draft legislative bill should be submitted by members of
the German Bundestag."
- 124.28: (Withdraw reservations e. g. ICCCP): "Accepted. Legal
regulations and their implementation already comply with international
standards and norms. "
- 124.42: (Align its national legislation with international human
rights standards): "Accepted."
- 124.46: "Not accepted."
- 124.49: (control over Office of Youth): "Accepted. Already now it
is possible to subject decisions made by the Youth Welfare Office to
- 124.145: (supervision of Office of Youth)"Accepted. It is
already possible to have decisions taken by the Youth Welfare Office
examined by a court to verify their compliance with applicable German
law and also with the European Court of Human Rights’ rulings with
regard to the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights."
- 124.169: "Accepted. Human rights education is embedded in state
school curriculums. It is constantly reviewed, as is human rights
basic and further training in the Federal Police. Additional
monitoring is not necessary."
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